Genesis Messianic Expectations
The Book of Genesis, God has created everything, all living creatures. He created an environment for them to live in, and the crescendo of creation was man. He’s made in His image. In Genesis 3, we read of the fall, and in Genesis 3:14-15, we read of the first Messianic expectation recorded in the Bible.
Everything was provided for Adam and the woman. There was one prohibition. Do not eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Do anything you want, just don’t do this. Of course the temptation will be too great and they will succumb. After the fall, God curses the serpent. Tied to the serpent curse is the first promise of the Messiah.
Messianic Expectation #1: Messiah Will Destroy The Serpent and Bring Salvation
There are many messianic expectations in these two verses. To name a few: the man will toil and sweat; He will work out food of bread in agony with thorns and thistles. There will be a curse surrounding it. He will lie and struggle in this experience. Then, he will sweat drops of blood. He will be in great agony in Gethsemane, He will wear a crown of thorns on his head, and He’ll be cursed and hung on a tree.
From the first moment sin enters the equation, man is promised a deliverer. And the consequences, although devastating, are cushioned with a little bit of hope. They are going to leave what was life and now live in death. They will leave perfect fellowship for broken fellowship and conflict.
The Birth of Cane
Later, Eve will bear a boy named Cane. In English, his name is a wordplay that we miss. To put it very simply, the words manchild and Cane are about the same. The Net Bible rendered it this way: She gave birth to Cane, and then she said, I’ve created a man just like God created Adam. So the wordplay of Cane is this is a creation of something living in the image of God, not like what it was before, but it’s a glimmer of hope.
The Consequence of Original Sin
Imagine the horror when years later, Cane will kill his brother Abel, and that this was because of their sin. They will know the consequences of being out of fellowship because they reached in the garden and tried to be like God, knowing good and evil.
They will know that that boy’s death was because of their sin, and God will once again give them hope of life. How do we escape Satan’s grip? How do we escape a sin nature we inherited from our parents? Can we escape the effects that our sins have on other people?
Messianic Expectation #2: Jesus Will Come For All Men
The Abrahamic covenant comes in Genesis 12:1-3. “Now, the Lord said to Abram, go forth from your country and from your relatives and from your father’s house to the land, which I will show you and I will make you a great nation and I will bless you and I will make your name great and so you shall be a blessing and I will bless those who bless you. And the one who curses you, I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed just as through one seed.”
The Abrahamic covenant is unilateral, meaning God is going to do this regardless of Abraham’s participation. He’s chosen Abram to be a blessing to the world. Notice in that passage, He will make him a great nation, but he will be a blessing to the earth, to all people groups, not just the Jew. Genesis 13:15, for all the land, which you see, I will give to you and your descendants forever. Genesis 22:18, in your seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you obeyed My voice.
Not just Jews; all the ethnos. Paul will exegete this in Galatians 3:16. Paul understood that the Abrahamic covenant was not merely for the Jew. He understood that the seed that would come through Abraham would be the Christ; the provision who would come to defeat Satan and offer deliverance for man.
Abraham’s Imperfect Life
It is not a perfect life by any comparison. He fails many times. Isaac is born after Ishmael, the unwanted son. After some point in his late teens, God says, ‘I want you to kill him.’ Isaac has been the miracle child. He’s been told he’s going to be a father of countless descendants. God instructs Abraham to take Isaac to Mount Mariah as a sacrifice, and Abraham obeys. And he straps the wood on his boy’s back and off to Mariah they go. Isaac saw the wood and the fire, but did not know where the sacrifice was. Abraham’s double entendre answer was, ‘The Lord will provide.’ They get to the top of Mount Mariah, and as he’s about to draw the knife across his neck and bleed him, God stops him.
There’s no account in the scripture of a struggle. A young man could certainly have overpowered an older father, and somehow the father ties his own boy to a pile of wood on top of a rock. And there in the brush is a ram the Lord provided. What a memorable experience that must have been for Isaac.
Later, John the Baptist in John 1 will say, ‘behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Happy are those who are called.’ Jesus becomes that lamb. Jesus is the Father’s Son, whom He loves. However, this one does not escape the crucifixion. This one is killed. This one is bled, this one dies.
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